NISSAN has unveiled a concept with a difference – a Navara pick-up that can operate as a mobile astronomy lab.
Built in partnership with the European Space Agency (ESA), the Navara Dark Sky Concept incorporates an ‘observatory-class’ telescope on a bespoke trailer.
It also features Nissan’s ProPilot driver assist technology, which in this case has been re-engineered and upgraded to offer safe and efficient towing.
The ESA is currently creating an intricate map of the heavens with its Gaia satellite – and has already located more than a billion stars.
The Navara Dark Sky Concept has been designed to aid astronomers in making follow-up observations of the night skies in difficult-to-access locations away from light pollution – areas known as ‘dark sky’ locations.
‘The Nissan Navara Dark Sky Concept is a brilliant example of Nissan serving as an authentic partner, empowering our customers to go anywhere,’ said Ashwani Gupta, senior vice-president of Nissan’s light commercial vehicle business.
‘Through Nissan Intelligent Mobility and ProPilot, we are creating the best solutions for the next frontiers of business, no matter how complex the commercial need.’
The exterior of the truck has been painted with nebula motifs, while the interior is finished in orange shades with reflective orange piping on the seats. It also uses red interior lighting to minimise any effects on people’s night vision, since red light affects it the least.
As well as portable battery packs, the Navara features wifi and a UHF transmission system capable of relaying data to any point in the world instantly.
Once at the required spot, the trailer’s mechanical roof can be activated, allowing the PlaneWave telescope to be trained on the sky. The optical device is so powerful that it is capable of viewing beyond the rings of Saturn.
The concept was revealed at the Hannover Motor Show.